semaglutide type 2 diabetes

Novo Nordisk has begun a Phase III trial for an oral type 2 diabetes GLP-1 treatment.

The drug, known as semaglutide, yielded promising results in previous trials. The tablet, which is orally administered in order to reduce the pain of injection-based treatment for people with type 2 diabetes, is one of several similar plans: last year, Novo Nordisk began working on a once-weekly insulin injection.

“The first trial in the program is planned for initiation in first quarter of 2016 and will investigate the efficacy and safety of once-daily oral semaglutide doses of 3mg, 7mg and 14mg, compared to once-daily oral anti-diabetic sitagliptin dose of 100mg,” Novo Nordisk said.

“The remaining six trials of the PIONEER program are all expected to be initiated during 2016.”

In July, the SUSTAIN1 semaglutide trial yielded positive results. Participants lost more weight and had better blood glucose control.

GLP-1 therapy is a promising option for people with type 2 diabetes, often prescribed to patients who have struggled to bring their blood glucose levels under control through tablet treatment.

GLP-1 therapy aids weight loss, improves glycemic control and does not often lead to hypoglycemia. However, many people are wary of it because it requires injection, something which semaglutide is designed to address.

Novo Nordisk also plans to expand its drug development in North Carolina and Denmark. Over the next five years, the company will invest $2 billion on facilities in these locations. It should create 800 new jobs.